City Lettering books

By looking back at my Rolling Bibliography  I’ve noticed that there is no city in the world without its very own book about vernacular public lettering. Although this is an exaggeration, it can be said that there are more and more cities, villas and towns, being the object of  such kind of books. More often [graphic and type] designers, photographers, and general public, dazzled by the amazingness of architectural and fascia letter that they encounter in their commuting, their daily running or the  during the Sunday strolls, decide to photograph, record, and eventually publish what they see. I welcome them all, it is wonderful having the opportunity to travel to Barcelona with América Sánchez, to Cork with Tom Spalding, to Melbourne with Stephen Banham, just to mention some of them.

The books are as different as their authors, in this list we can find luxurious editions, beautifully printed; publications based on academic research, where the weight of the book falls on how and why the content was selected and the how research  was conducted and not so much in wonderful pictures; nostalgia books and personal books, based on the author’s experience (and not that much in knowledge); books with Encyclopedic aspirations, that are great city surveys, etc.

So, lets check this [incomplete] list of books featuring public lettering from specific places:

Amsterdam, The Nederlands

Espinoza, Ramiro & Becker, Rob (2015) Curly Letters of Amsterdam. Lecturis (Read a review by Yves Peters here)

Helle, Maarten (2008) Amsterdam in Letters. Valiz

Barcelona, Catalonia

Sánchez, América (2001) Barcelona Gráfica. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili, Barcelona

Satué, Enric (2001) El paisaje comercial de la ciudad: letras, formas y colores en la rotulación de comercios de Barcelona. Barcelona: Alianza Forma.

Ulrich Kehrer, Martin (2013) Stadtalphabet Barcelona.

Berlin, Germany

Gerlach, Verena (2013) Karbid Berlin – de la lettre peinte au caractère typographique. Paris: Ypsilon (Read a review by Yves Peters here)

Bilbao, Spain

Atxaga, Koldo (2007) Los rótulos comerciales y otras gráficas urbanas. Bilbao: Bizkaiko Gaiak Temas Vizcaia

Brussels, Belgium

Van Steendam, Stan (2013) Brussels Type. Luster

Cork, Ireland

Spalding, Tom (2013) Layers. Associated Editions

Hamburg, Germany

Campe, Chris (2010) Projekttitel Hamburg Alphabet. Kunde Junius Verlag

Le Havre, France

Boyer, Elodie (2012) Lettres du Havre. Éditions Non Standard

Madrid, Spain

Agromayor, Luis (1992) Tiendas de Madrid. Madrid: Susaeta ediciones

Agromayor, Luis (1991) Tabernas de Madrid. Madrid: Ed. Lunwerg [Discontinued]

Corazón, Alberto (1979) El sol sale para todos: un análisis de la iconografía comercial de Madrid. Madrid: Banco Urquijo

Lattes, Leandro (2003) Hasta fin de existencias / While stocks last. Madrid: Aldeasa

Lattes, Leandro (2004) Hasta fin de existencias 2 / While stocks last 2. Madrid: Aldeasa


Linke,Oliver (2013) Auf den Spuren des Münchner Schildermalers Karl Blaschke. Munich:August Dreesbach Verlag  (A link with images here)

Melbourne, Australia

Banham, S (2012) Characters: Cultural Stories Revealed through Typography. Port Melbourne: Thames & Hudson Australia [Read Paul Shaw review in Print Magazine here.]

New York, USA

Murray, James T & Karla L (2008)  Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press

Rinaldi, Thomas E (2012) New York Neon. New York: W W Norton & Company

Paris, France

Fili, Louise (2015) Graphique de la Rue: The Signs of Paris. Princeton Architectural Press 

Pernambuco, Brazil

Finizola, Fatima (2013) Abridores de Letras de Pernambuco: um Mapeamento da Gráfica Popular. São Paulo: Blucher

Valencia, Spain

Nava, Juan (2002) Itinerarios tipográficos. Un paseo por los viejos rótulos comerciales valencianos. Valencia: ADCV

Wien, Austria

Ulrich Kehrer, Martin (2009) Stadtalphabet Wien.

By countries:

Bartram, A. (1986) The English Lettering Tradition. London: Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd

Clough, James ( ) Signs of Italy. Lazy Dog Press

Fili, Louise (2014) Grafica Della Strada: The Signs of Italy. Princeton Architectural Press

Rothfeld, Steven and Aciman, Andre (2001) Entrez: Signs of France. Workman Publishing

Treu, M. (2012) Signs, Streets and Storefronts. A History of Architecture and Graphics along America’s Commercial Corridors. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press



Where possible I have include a link to the publishing house, or a bookshop or to Abebooks.
Obviously this is an incomplete list, if you know of more similar books just tell me and I will add them.
Nothing in London?